Happy New Year

headphonesupdatedI really wanted to write an open New Year’s letter for all the people that got our cookie-cutter holiday card (or didn’t). Every year I have the intention to sit down and put pen to paper and craft the opus that was my year. I envy, every year, the Hubs’ Great Uncle’s wandering stream-of-consciousness letter. Auntie always tells us how the kids are and what everyone accomplished. But Uncle dives to a deeper plane:

“The orange trees didn’t survive the unexpected frost this year…found an old pair of bikini swim trunks I haven’t worn since Ipanema…wish I could keep up with the young woman that runs the hill (if you can call it that) in front of my house…”

But each year passes and those intentions never come to fruition. Now’s my chance.

2014 has been a crazy year. Little Man made it to his first birthday, and beyond. I lost my job. The Hubs joined the ranks of the 176th A-100 class and officially joined the Foreign Service. We got assigned to Ghana. I laughed. I cried. I saw as much of the place I called home for a decade as I could in my last summer. I said goodbye to my house, my home. I put a life-time’s worth of crap on a boat. I put my family on a plane. I put my dog in that plane’s belly. I got shots. I interviewed. I got a job (more on that in a minute!). I waited patiently for a start date. I realized living in Ghana without a career to define me could be really kind of nice. Then I got a start date. I attempted potty training the Little Man. I thought that can wait. I met people that were curious about me and people who don’t want anything to do with me. I left people who know me better than anyone else and who I love dearly. I’ve been motivated just as much as I’ve felt paralyzed. A lot has happened. It’s been a big year!

For a control-freak like myself, a year like this one could have been a total disaster (and sometimes it came close), but ultimately it taught me to go with the flow. Or as a friend once told me his mama said, “flow with the river,” because the river knows where it’s going to take you. But I want to know and plan where I am going!! Too bad. Suck it up and put on your life jacket. Who knows where 2015 will lead.

I’m ending 2014 with a holiday season like none I’ve ever experienced (or thought I would), but surrounded by family and friends new and old.  So instead of resolutions I wanted to share with you some things that I am grateful for, and some things that I look forward to in the year ahead.

I am grateful for my husband. Most days.

I am grateful for my son. Also most days.

Ok let’s add Henry Rollins to the list too.

I am grateful for Skype.

I am grateful for social media! Most people are making resolutions to sign off in the New Year and I want dearly to feel the pulse of those I’m not physically close to! #FOMO

I am grateful for my new friends.

I am grateful that my old ones still keep up (and will be even more grateful when they visit!).

I am grateful that my kid is not a picky eater.

I’m grateful for pepto.

And I am looking forward to: visits from friends and family, new adventures across Africa, continuing to be surprised by Accra, my job in the mission starting on January 12th, finding out where our next post will take us, striving to be authentic, caring, calm, and to flowing with the river.

Before I get too cornball, Happy New Year, dear readers, I wish you all the very best for a happy, healthy, awesome, funny, weird, spooky, cool, turnt 2016.

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